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More problems for Boeing

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
I suspect Boeing can't wait for the end of one of its worst years ever, but there's still more bad news.

One of its premier aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, seems to have had a significant fixturing failure that's resulted in too thin an adhesive bondline in a large number of horizontal stabilizers, potentially leading to reduced life of the critical tail elements.

Boeing Finds New Problem With 787 Jets | IMPO

These are expensive parts to replace, and I'm not sure a true fix can be made if the bond is too marginal.

With China entering the airline business and Airbus still gnawing away at potential orders, it's got to be pretty discouraging in Everett, WA.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
... it's got to be pretty discouraging in Everett, WA.
Everett ? They moved to Chicago years ago and quite being an airplane company. Now they are a financial company that sublets airplane parts manufacture which (until they can find someone else to do this also) they assemble.

No worries, Mabel, like all financial companies, when the product goes to shit the CEO will walk off with a giant cash prize, the big shareholders who count will have got out early, and the stupid pension funds will be left holding the bag full of stocks not worth ten cents a share.

Pretty cool how capitalism works, the few, the proud, the wealthy (and Kelly Loeffler) can always come out on top ! It's a feature, not a bug !
 

jaguar36

Cast Iron
Joined
May 13, 2015
Location
SE, PA
Everett ? They moved to Chicago years ago and quite being an airplane company. Now they are a financial company that sublets airplane parts manufacture which (until they can find someone else to do this also) they assemble.

I suspect the thousands of guys working for Boeing who are actually making parts would disagree quite a bit with you about that.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
Everett ? They moved to Chicago years ago and quite being an airplane company. Now they are a financial company that sublets airplane parts manufacture which (until they can find someone else to do this also) they assemble.

While an exaggeration, there is a lot of truth to it.

Boeing has been distancing themselves more-and-more from the supply chain each year. When I was there one of the high up engineers gave a great speech warning about the dangers of getting too focused on profitability vs long term health. He gave the example of the company becoming a distributor of "Boeing" branded stickers. If they charge $1000 to slap a $3 sticker on each airplane when it's done, the profitability metrics would show the company as an outstanding success.

I think many of us saw the move from Seattle headquarters to Chicago headquarters as a symbolic transition from a company run by engineers to a company run by accountants. It felt like they were no longer interested in building planes - just playing spread sheet games, and pumping up stocks to keep the shareholders happy.
 

Oldwrench

Titanium
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Wyoming, USA
Very little of the 787 manufacturing will be in Everett, significant parts of it have been and increasingly will be made in the Carolina's . . . plans are underway to decrease existing Everett content.

Didn't they run into serious opposition from the union? Or the state government?
 

Finegrain

Diamond
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Location
Seattle, Washington
I suspect the thousands of guys working for Boeing who are actually making parts would disagree quite a bit with you about that.

I'd like to see some data around this. I know a lot of guys in shops (me included) that make stuff that eventually goes to Boeing, but way fewer that actually work for Boeing.

70% of the 737 airframe is made by Spirit Air in KS. Spirit Air also builds the forward ~1/4 of the 767, 777, and 787 airframes. Galleys, bathrooms, seating, avionics, automated riveting and fiber winding equipment, a lot of that is outsourced. Even components that are nominally "made" by Boeing have significant outsource, for things like subassemblies, logistics equipment, etc.

Regards.

Mike
 

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Didn't they run into serious opposition from the union? Or the state government?

I'd imagine they did, but that's one of the reasons they're moving 787 to SC - non-union state:

Boeing to move 787 production to South Carolina in 2021 | Reuters

Not that it's helped in this minor aspect:

Why Are Airlines Refusing 787s From Charleston S.C. Plant? Boeing Announces 4Th 787 Defect In A Row - YouTube

The ideal solution is go back in time and drown the McD-D management perps who ruined Boeing's engineering culture.

Bastards...
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Didn't they run into serious opposition from the union? Or the state government?
The beef with the state government was that Washington gave them a huge tax break to keep jobs in Seattle, which they then welched on. Haven't kept up since I don't get the Bellingham paper anymore but maybe that's still going on.

Or maybe the anti-worker brigade based in the double-wides managed to get the case tossed. Damn unions, always trying to get wages you can live on. Damn Inslee. Bastards roonin' our god-blessed amurrica.
 

gbent

Diamond
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Location
Kansas
Boeing has been distancing themselves more-and-more from the supply chain each year. When I was there one of the high up engineers gave a great speech warning about the dangers of getting too focused on profitability vs long term health. He gave the example of the company becoming a distributor of "Boeing" branded stickers. If they charge $1000 to slap a $3 sticker on each airplane when it's done, the profitability metrics would show the company as an outstanding success.

And IIRC that engineer got shown the door in short order.

70% of the 737 airframe is made by Spirit Air in KS. Spirit Air also builds the forward ~1/4 of the 767, 777, and 787 airframes. Galleys, bathrooms, seating, avionics, automated riveting and fiber winding equipment, a lot of that is outsourced. Even components that are nominally "made" by Boeing have significant outsource, for things like subassemblies, logistics equipment, etc.

Regards.

Mike

Spirit bought all of Boeing's facilities in Wichita and continues to make the Boeing parts there.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
I'd like to see some data around this. I know a lot of guys in shops (me included) that make stuff that eventually goes to Boeing, but way fewer that actually work for Boeing.

70% of the 737 airframe is made by Spirit Air in KS. Spirit Air also builds the forward ~1/4 of the 767, 777, and 787 airframes. Galleys, bathrooms, seating, avionics, automated riveting and fiber winding equipment, a lot of that is outsourced. Even components that are nominally "made" by Boeing have significant outsource, for things like subassemblies, logistics equipment, etc.

Regards.

Mike

What's your question? I don't claim to know everything, but I was a factory support engineer on the 737 final assembly line in Renton, WA until 2014 or 2015.

The presence in Washington state is shrinking, but there are still multiple winglines (like the 737 wings) and other critical fabrication/assembly done in-house, in addition to the substantial final assembly efforts. When I was there I believe we had > 10,000 employees in Renton and > 20,000 in Everett. There are also a lot of other Boeing activities in the region, with the total headcount in excess of 70,000 employees in Puget Sound.

Many folks seemed to think that Spirit slaps everything on a railcar and it just gets bolted together. There's a lot more to the plane than that barrel section. Not to mention critical processes like wing-to-body join are never going away. My concern is that there may be an effort to some day they replace the current factory workers with contract employees that work for a different company, or otherwise sub out the process while still attempting to retain a perception of control over the final product.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
I've never met a union worker I couldn't run rings around just half assing.
See the kid in the funny helmet ? Machinist, fabricator, talented and funny guy who'd kick your ass in anything he tried. Built a double-overhead-cam panhead stroker with nitralloy cylinders while you were in diapers. First people to use a slick. Proud union member to this day.

OIP.xUBlmLsnq39U5Thd9JraZAHaGt
 

CAMasochism

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Location
DFW, Texas
See the kid in the funny helmet ? Machinist, fabricator, talented and funny guy who'd kick your ass in anything he tried. Built a double-overhead-cam panhead stroker with nitralloy cylinders while you were in diapers. First people to use a slick. Proud union member to this day.

I'm sure that he would be since he's getting a full pension that likely pays more than what the current generation even get paid after 5 years, and 100% more since most unions negotiated away such benefits to new members to pay for the old members benefits.

Just look at airline pilots. I used to hang around a gun store with an old American Airlines pilot who was long since retired. He owned 100 some odd acres of land and collected Colt Walker revolvers. Last time I saw him he was verifying the authenticity of one he was looking at buying and working out a broker to the tune of ~$500,000. He had 4 such pistols already. New airline pilots can't even afford to pay for their license with their pay.

Unions may have at one point been for the workers. Now they are just a parasite that funds lawyers and lobbyist's retirement funds.
 

boosted

Stainless
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Location
Portland, OR
I've never met a union worker I couldn't run rings around just half assing.

Unions may have at one point been for the workers. Now they are just a parasite that funds lawyers and lobbyist's retirement funds.

We can all find anecdotal examples of good or bad... Instead of sharing my mostly (though certainly not entirely) positive experiences with unions, I implore you to use critical thinking. Any time folks try oversimplify these things, or turn them into ideological talking points, they tend to get a lot wrong.

Just like employers, some union environments are great, and some suck. It's up to each individual to find an employment agreement that works for them.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
See the kid in the funny helmet ? Machinist, fabricator, talented and funny guy who'd kick your ass in anything he tried. Built a double-overhead-cam panhead stroker with nitralloy cylinders while you were in diapers. First people to use a slick. Proud union member to this day.

OIP.xUBlmLsnq39U5Thd9JraZAHaGt

Only now the "Union" is the "Peoples Union".....
 

Terry Keeley

Stainless
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
Toronto, Canada eh!
I'm sure that he would be since he's getting a full pension that likely pays more than what the current generation even get paid after 5 years, and 100% more since most unions negotiated away such benefits to new members to pay for the old members benefits.

Just look at airline pilots. I used to hang around a gun store with an old American Airlines pilot who was long since retired. He owned 100 some odd acres of land and collected Colt Walker revolvers. Last time I saw him he was verifying the authenticity of one he was looking at buying and working out a broker to the tune of ~$500,000. He had 4 such pistols already. New airline pilots can't even afford to pay for their license with their pay.

Unions may have at one point been for the workers. Now they are just a parasite that funds lawyers and lobbyist's retirement funds.

I can tell you first hand that in the airline business unions are the ONLY reason top tier drivers get decent pay, benefits and (sometimes) pensions. Otherwise the airlines would find drivers for next to nothing, a hull loss every couple years is just the cost of doing business, right?

Also, they also keep things in order, otherwise pilots being the whores they are will work for free to get their hours in, junior people will step over their co-workers for "B" scale wages and on and on.
 








 
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